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A Grand Monday: BMW E39 523i

Published 25 June 2018

We've already tipped the E39 BMW 5-Series as a hot future classic prospect, and interest in the Nineties exec is contnuing to grow.

At a fiver under our £1000 price barrier, we reckon this one could be a real winner, too. It's a 523i wth cloth interior and a manual gearbox. We'll get that out of the way first, so that all those who want big bhp, lord gears and dead cow can go forth and continue their search elsewhere. 

If what you're after, however, is a thoroughly lovely, well-maintained and low-mileage modern classic, then stay on the line. It might not be the most desirable spec or colour, but this looks like a fabulous car, with an average of fewer than 5000 miles a year over its 21-year life, full service history and superb bodywork.

BMW 5-series E39 (6)

We also have a nostalgic fondness for those brushed alloy base model wheels, which tend to be one of the first things to go as BMWs get older and fall into the 'wrong' type of ownership. It has the original electric sunblind, too. If you're tempted by a nice E39 - and there are lots of reasons why you should be - then this looks like a fabulous place to start.

BMW 5-series E39 (5)


   on 26 June 2018

I have 530d e39 it has 145000 still tons of power cruise down the motorway at 110 easily fix most problems myself with help of YouTube. Cheap reliable love it .

shaun fenwick    on 26 June 2018

I have a 11600 mile 530d e39 msport and the immense pleasure I get when 40 to 60 thousand pound bmw drivers pass and you can see them give an appreciating glance is quite satisfying.
I paid for a 2003 1 owner doctor from New in 2016
5000 pound and it's the best money ever spent it had only 73000 on clock I am doing nearly 500 miles on motorway a week and the engine still gives nearly 40 to the gallon and pulls like a train.
shall be running this in for a long time to come.

   on 26 June 2018

I have a e39 540 touring. I paid £1500 for it. It has 187000 miles and has gone straight though the mot. It runs as smoothly as if it was new. To be honest I have spent quite a bit on new brakes includong pipes, and generally renewing bits and bobs. (I'm a bit fussy like that!) I have had several people wanting to buy it off me........ dream on!!!!!

Mr halfsing    on 29 June 2018

I have a bmw5 series 99 plate with hundred and sixth thousand on it goes through a mot all the time very impressed with it only had a water pump thank you bert

expertad    on 30 June 2018

Great barge to waft about in.I worked for BMW at that time and rumour has it the engineers were handed a blank cheque to develop the best car in the world,as they were a bit miffed about the quality/success of the Mercedes W124.Drive lots of modern cars including BMW's but my E39 M5 still gets wheeled out at weekends,still mightily impressed with the build quality,quality of materials.This is a steal for a grand,lovely straight six,peerless quality,and will last forever if you look after it.

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